Super takes positive spin

SUPERANNUATION funds, which were facing another year of negative returns, are enjoying two consecutive months of positive figures. The median growth fund returned 2.9 per cent in April, the largest monthly gain since October 2001. It followed the 1.6 per cent increase in March.

According to InTech Research, at the end of April the financial year to date return for the median growth superannuation fund had recovered half of the losses to February 2003, sitting at -3.4 per cent.

The return to positive territory was due to a rise on international share markets of 8.4 per cent in local currency terms. Europe enjoyed its best month since 1986 with the MSCI Europe ex UK (local currencies) returning 13.3 per cent over April.

The North American and UK share markets were equally strong. The only major economy that struggled was Japan, which returned -0.2 per cent.

Australian shares preformed less spectacularly in April but still returned 4.3 per cent.

The only negative market contributor, InTech says, was the strong rise in the Australian dollar value.

Of the managers, Sagitta Rothschild was the top performer for April, returning 4 per cent. BGI returned 3.8 per cent, BTFM (3.8 per cent), HSBC (3.7 per cent), Merrill Lynch (3.6 per cent), ING and Invesco (3.5 per cent).

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